The Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr. Appellate Advocacy Fellowship

  • MD

About Us

The Murnaghan Fellowship

The Murnaghan Fellowship allows a recent law graduate who has completed a judicial clerkship to spend a year engaging in appellate advocacy in the areas of civil rights and poverty law.

The Fellow works at the Public Justice Center (PJC), a nonprofit organization based in Baltimore, Maryland. PJC's Appellate Advocacy Project has achieved substantial success in advocating for poor and disadvantaged persons in state and federal appellate courts. The Murnaghan Fellow works with other lawyers in the Appellate Project to ensure that cases with civil rights and poverty law implications are litigated effectively and receive a full hearing. Depending on the case, the Fellow serves as lead counsel, submits briefs as amicus curiae ("friend of the court"), or assists existing appellate counsel.

Appellate decisions have broad impact, determining the law for all within the court's jurisdiction. Appellate advocacy therefore represents an important opportunity to achieve positive legal change and to prevent adverse legal change in a systemic fashion. The Murnaghan Fellow assists the Appellate Project at PJC in identifying cases that have the potential for systemic impact on poor and disadvantaged people.